Kay's pages
  • Beta version of efaLive 2.0 available!

    Today I released a beta version of the upcoming efaLive 2.0. efaLive 2.0 has some interesting new features which should make the life of the administrator more easy. There is a file manager, a GUI editor, a GUI for backup and restore, a configuration manager for network connections and some more things. So please try it out and report bugs, if you find some. Many of the changes are a result of the feedback from the seminars in Berlin and Osnabrück in September last year.
    The final release is planned to be released around 26th of February. Probably I can announce it in the web seminar (German only...).

    For more details about efaLive and the download links you can check the efaLive page.

  • efa 2 migration finished

    The efa 2 migration for our two boat houses is done. It was some work to clean up the data from our two boat houses. The two logbooks got inconsistent over the time.

    I wrote a small Python script to synchronize the the data of two logbooks. The script just copies all entries from one logbook to the other one, if they do not exist there already and vice versa. This fixed almost all of my over 200 error received during import of two logbooks from the same year. The rest was hand work. There were names written different in the two logbooks, for example. This can't be fixed automatically.

    For now efa 2 runs very well in my club. There were minor problems I have to investigate further. But none of them is mission critical.

    You can find the script here. Each year or tuple of logbooks needs one call of the script. So if you have two logbooks logbook1_2012.efb and logbook2_2012.efb you have to call the script like this on Linux: "./efa_sync.py logbook1_2012 logbook2_2012". You have to strip the extension of the file name. This needs to be done, because the script automatically opens several of the data files, which have different file extensions. The script should work on Windows as well, but I did not test that.

  • efaLive

     

    efaLive is a GNU/Linux based distribution that runs the electronic logbook for rowing and canoeing called efa in a so called Kiosk mode. In 2009 the idea to create this live CD came to my mind, because I wanted to be able to easily reproduce the system I have configured for my rowing club.
    With efaLive, rowing/canoeing clubs are enabled to set up their own efa system for their boat house in an easy way. It is also possible to evaluate efa and efaLive in depth at home by running efaLive as a live system from CD or USB stick. efaLive is available for x86 systems and the popular RaspberryPi.

    Download

    Stable
    The current stable version of efaLive is 2.5.

    efaLive x86
    (MD5: 706b49279042c8a608ef060f5ffa235c)
    efaLive RaspberryPi
    (MD5: 6d9725c27bbc5e97d480402617bfafc2)
    efaLive documentation (English)
    ...

  • efaLive 2.0 released!

    Today I released efaLive 2.0. It includes the new version 2.0 of efa, which was released today, too. Both, efa and efaLive, bring many new features that make life easier for users and administrators. efa 2.0 is a new development from scratch. So there was a lot of effort to finish it.

    Here are the changes of efaLive:

    • [N] Configure efa shutdown action
    • [N] Configure network settings (including Wifi, VPN, mobile broadband [experimiental])
    • [N] Configure keyboard
    • [N] shutdown/restart PC buttons in efaLive setup
    • [N] Screensaver
    • [N] File manager
    • [N] NTP support
    • [N] Configure date and time
    • [N] Restore backup from USB device
    • [N] General backup/restore dialog
    • [N] Support for NTFS formatted USB sticks
    • [E] Update efa 2 to version 2.0.0_00
    • [E] efa 2 is default now
    • [E] Enable/disable automatic USB backup
    • [E] Optional dialog for automatic USB backup

    You can find the download links on the efaLive page. Unfortunately efaLive is only available in German at the moment. For the installation you can choose English. In this case the whole system should work in English, but this is not tested. I hope I can provide an English version soon.

  • efaLive 2.1 available!!

    efaLive 2.1 is released. This is the first "international version". Documentation is available in English and German. You can run the live system in English or German, the installed system supports all languages which are supported by efa.
    The new efa 2.1 with many great new features is included in this version of efaLive. It is based on Debian GNU/Linux 7.1 (Wheezy) and should bring better support for the latest hardware. For the download and more information about the changes you can check the efaLive page.

  • efaLive 2.1 BETA available !!

    I just released a BETA version of efaLive 2.1! It is based on the brand new Debian 7 "Wheezy" GNU/Linux. This is the first international version. Try it! Here the details of changes:

    [N]: New; [E]: Enhancement; [F]: Bugfix

    2.1-2.0.7_18 BETA (released 11.05.2013):

    • [E] [4745] Support for German and English in live mode, for many more languages as installed system
    • [E] Based on new stable Debian distribution (Wheezy)
    • [E] Update efa2 to 2.0.7_18
    • [E] Update efa to 1.8.3_19 (deprecated)
    • [E] Support for broadband connections
    • [E] Improved network configuration
    • [E] [4746] efaLive, efa and efa2 are now Debian packages, improve update
    • [N] Support for dynamic DNS services
    • [F] [5676] Fix window move bug
    • [F] [5778] Another solution for permanent backups

    For more information on efaLive, check the efaLive page.

  • efaLive 2.2 released!

    Today I have released efaLive version 2.2. There are many structural changes but some new features as well. For more information check the efaLive page.

  • efaLive 2.3 released

    I now have uploaded efaLive 2.3 to the server. The main difference is that this version is now based on the new stable Debian release "Jessie" 8.0. Besides that there is a small watchdog that restarts the PC in case of a X-server crash. For more details have a look to the efaLive page.

    Unfortunately the image size has grown over 700 MB. So you can not burn the image to a standard CD. You need an oversize CD oder a DVD. However, I recommend to use a USB stick, anyway.

  • efaLive 2.3 running on Raspberry Pi

    Finally I found the time to try to run efaLive on a Raspberry Pi. It was less effort than expected. You just need a Raspbian installation that you upgrade from Wheezy to Jessie. This can be done by exchanging "wheezy" by "jessie" in the /etc/apt/sources.list. Then run "apt-get update" and "apt-get dist-upgrade". This will take a lot of time, but at the end you have a Debian Jessie based installation. Now add "deb http://efalive.hannay.de/debian jessie main" to /etc/apt/sources.list and run "apt-get updat"e and "apt-get install efalive" (ignore the missing GPG key for now). Many dependencies are installed now. At the end everything is ready to run efaLive. Just configure raspi-config to boot into the GUI and put the following lines into a file /home/efa/.xsessionrc:

    #!/bin/bash
    exec ~/.xinitrc

    Now you have to change the autologin user from "pi" to "efa" in /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf. From now on, the efaLive Kiosk environment should start automatically.

    Maybe I can provide a complete image for the Raspberry Pi in the future, we will see.

  • efaLive 2.3.beta image for the RaspberryPi

    Finally, I managed to create a first beta image of efaLive for the Raspberry Pi. I have tested it on a Raspberry Pi 1B. It more or less works as described in the efaLive documentation. Besides the users efa and root, you have the default pi user. The language and keyboard layout is English per default. Feel free to test the image. For more information check the efaLive page.

  • efaLive 2.4 released

    I just pushed efaLive 2.4 to the download section. The main difference, compared to the 2.3 release, is a task scheduler, which allows you to run commands periodically in the background and to configure automated backup e-mails. Besides that, the image size is below 700 MB again. So you can burn it to normal CDRs. For more details, check the efaLive page.

  • efaLive 2.5 released

    There is a new version of efaLive available for download! As usual, you can find bug fixes and an updated version of efa in the images. The main news is that efaLive is available for the popular RaspberryPi now. You can find a SD card image in the download section. For more information, check the efaLive page.

  • How to destroy a project

    Yesterday there have been many mails on the debian-live mailing list. A few people entered a bug that announced a new piece of software called 'live-build-ng'. The author of 'live-build', Daniel, complained about the name, because it is very close to the name of his package. Then the people behind the new package explained that 'live-build-ng' will replace 'live-build' in the near future, as the name already suggests. This disappointed Daniel so much, that he announced the end of the 'live-build' project. You can find his full post on the mailing list (or in his temporary blog).

    I would like to say thank you to Daniel, who made a great job in inventing and developing 'live-build'! I feel very sad, that a few people attack a project leader who spent a huge amount of time to develop 'live-build' in such a way. They have no right to do that and there is no reason to choose a package name like 'live-build-ng' instead of attacking Daniel.

    We will see what tool chain I will use for efaLive in the future. Maybe there will be a fork of the original 'live-build' project.

    I wish all the best to Daniel. I hope you recover from this demotivating situation soon. Thank you!

  • LaTeX is back

    Ok, it has "ever" been there, but I found back to it. I used it once to write my diploma thesis and was impressed how easy it is, to write long texts with it. It is not really easy for people who are used to Wysiwyg software like OpenOffice or so, I think. But for software development oriented people, it is really easy. And the output is much more professional than with any Wysiwyg tool.

    Until now I used LibreOffice to write the documentation for efaLive. Now I switched to LaTeX and am very happy about this decision. The handling of the document is much easier, you have better control of the layout and you just need a tiny editor. To convert the LibreOffice document, I used the writer2latex extension for OpenOffice/LibreOffice. I used the ultra clean setting for the export.

    I should always use LaTeX for long texts!

  • Source of efaLive now on GitHub!!

    The source code of everything that makes up efaLive is now available on GitHub. Up to now, the source code was available in the CD image only. There was no configuration for live-build to create CD images. Now, everything is available to create an efaLive CD image. All Bash scripts, Python code and configuration files are there. It took some time to make it available in such a comfortable way. I had to restructure many things so that it is more easy for "external" people to understand the project. See the efaLive page for more information.